Paul Roos has spared Melbourne players the hairdryer treatment but could yet shock his AFL troops into action at the selection table.
The Demons were several shades of awful as they slumped to a 13-point loss to Essendon on Saturday, a defeat made worse by raised expectations at the club.
A round-one comeback triumph over Greater Western Sydney had Melbourne fans believing time might soon be up on their long malaise.
Instead the Demons fell back into woeful ways, repeatedly turning the ball over by foot and disappearing at crunch moments.
Midfielder Bernie Vince said it was a bad day at the office after “a really good block” of three pre-season wins but revealed Roos didn’t lash the team in the rooms.
“It actually wasn’t too bad,” he said on Monday.
“There wasn’t any point yelling and screaming at each other.
“As a whole footy club we’re in it together … we just looked at what we needed to do better at different situations.”
That includes the all-important match committee meeting.
In his post-game press conference, Roos conceded he didn’t get selection right, saying it was “hard off the back of a win to make too many changes”.
But if the flipside is true, it should be easy to bin underperformers for Sunday’s trip to Hobart to play North Melbourne.
And there are no shortage of candidates.
Dean Kent had just five touches but made three clangers, while an underdone Angus Brayshaw was on the field barely more than half of the match.
Roos said this week should show whether Brayshaw was better for the run or he was brought back too early.
In defence, it seems certain that vice-captain Lynden Dunn will make his first appearance for the season after Heritier Lumumba underwhelmed on his return to the team and Colin Garland’s lacklustre outing.
Midfielders James Harmes and Dom Tyson, the No.3 draft pick who has not shown his best this season, could also be in the gun.
Candidates for inclusion include untried 20-year-old Christian Petracca, long-term injury absentee and former kid-captain Jack Trengove, and Alex Neal-Bullen who starred in a VFL pre-season hit-out.
Vince, one of Melbourne’s best against Essendon with 28 touches, predicted an anxious week on the track.
“With a performance like that you’d expect a couple (of changes),” he said.
“I’m sure they’ll be some nervous guys. Those guys that didn’t perform as well on the weekend will have to train well.”